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Sudden Toe Pain May Be Gout

Gout used to be termed “the disease of kings” due to the fact that it strikes those individuals who consume excessive amounts of purine-containing foods including steak, organ meats, shellfish, wine, beer, and spirits—which were once only regularly available to the aristocracy. Now, anyone can get gout if they regularly consume the wrong foods and beverages.

Gout is actually an arthritic condition created by the crystallization of excess uric acid that builds up in the blood. If your kidneys aren’t excreting the excess uric acid or if your body is producing too much uric acid, the sharp crystals will settle in the joints, particularly the large joint of the big toe. Gout can also form in joints of the wrists, hands, knees, ankles and other parts of the feet.

The best way to avoid a bout with gout is to make changes in your diet that limit the amount of uric acid in your blood. These changes include the following:

  • Limit alcoholic beverage intake—Beer and other distilled products that are derived from grains should be stopped or curtailed. Beverages such as tequila, which is derived from a cactus plant, are less likely to contribute to an incident of gout.
  • Meat and fish consumption—Reduce your red meat intake. Additional foods to eliminate or avoid include anchovies, liver, sweetbreads, scallops, mussels, mackerel and haddock.
  • Dairy products—Switch to dairy products that are low in fat.
  • Stay hydrated—By drinking plenty of healthy fluids, the volume of uric acid in your blood will be diminished and eliminated by the kidneys more efficiently.
  • Helpful foods and beverages—The natural juices of cherries and other dark berries help remove uric acid. Organic apple cider vinegar that contains “mother” has been shown to cleanse the blood of uric acid as well.

Your podiatrist can confirm a gout attack in your feet or ankles by extracting fluid from around the joint and checking for uric acid crystals under a microscope. Medications can be prescribed to take care of any symptoms and complications.

At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. If you have toe pain, please contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.